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Tooele’s Mud Wall

In the year 1854 or 1855 the settlers built a mud wall most of the way around the town. The wall began at the corner of West Street and Vine Street intersection and then south to the south side of Locust Street (1st South) then east to the east side of 1st East Street then north to the north side of Green Street (1st North) then west to a point about twenty rods east of Main Street where it ended.

The Mud Wall was built to help protect the settlers from Indian attacks. The attacks never came, due in part to the counsel given by Brigham Young, to feed the Indians, rather than fight them.

The only thing that the Mud Wall was used for was that a number of wolves were shot from the wall at the south west corner.

We call the attention of the reader to the laborious work of building the Mud Wall. Food was scarce at that time. They had many hardships to contend with in their poverty, with houses to build, fencing materials to get out of the canyons, roads and irrigation canals to build and Indians to guard against. It should also be remembered that the tools they had to work with were crude and inferior.

Building the mud wall

The work of building the Mud Wall was done by taxing every able body man to do his share. The wall was 2 ½ feet wide at the base, 1 foot wide at the top, 9 feet high and each section was 16 feet long.

Water was flooded over the ground each night and a strip on both sides of the wall was ploughed to soften the mud. Planks were then set on edge and held together by long 1 ¾ inch round pins secured by wooden keys.

The wet soil was then shoveled between the planks from both sides with one man tamping the soil. A young boy spread straw into the mud so that it would be less likely to crack as it dried.

When the first pair of planks were filled and thoroughly tamped, the next pair was put in place until the top was reached.

When the mud dried the planks were removed and another section built as before so that the wall was built by section.

Note: The replica is one-half size of the original wall built 2 ½ feet wide at the base, 1 foot wide at the top, 9 feet high and built in 16 foot sections.

Sons of Utah Pioneers historic marker #147, located at 100 West Vine Street on the Library grounds in Tooele, Utah